Nantucket artists are taking to the streets. On July 5, the annual Sidewalk Art Show returns, bringing with it a slew of artists. Begun in 1930 by artist Maud Stumm, the Show brought together professional and amateur artists for a few days in August. Featuring artists like Colonel Julian Yates, the Show drew excited crowds to the exterior walls of the Atheneum, where artists displayed their work. In 1960, the Artists Association of Nantucket took over the event, which over the years has become an eagerly anticipated summer ritual.
Furthering its ties to the summer season, the Show changed format years ago and now occurs across multiple months. This year, the Show stretches over two all-day events on July 5 and August 23. AAN Executive Director Cecil Barron Jensen said, “AAN’s Sidewalk Art Show has become one of the sought-after traditions of the association, so we are delighted to be hosting it during the festive July 4th weekend.”
After filling up on hot dogs and watching fireworks, the Show is a calming, family-friendly opportunity to explore the local artist community thanks in part to its venue. In past summers, the Show roved around various town locations but is now settled happily in the Atheneum Garden. “The present location,” said AAN’s Curator of Exhibitions Robert Frazier, “has become a perennial favorite. It’s a wonderful backdrop and affords a relaxed atmosphere in which to meet and talk with AAN artists and purchase their work.”
Over 20 AAN artists are presenting this season, meaning that there will be a wide variety of art appealing to all tastes. Even if you are not planning to buy, the Show is a great chance to stroll through the garden and imbibe some community spirit. As it lasts from 10 am to 3 pm, there is plenty of time to sleep in post-4th and still catch the Sidewalk Art Show. If bad weather interferes with the event, the show will take place on Sunday, July 6. To learn more about the AAN, visit nantucketarts.org or call 508-228-0722.